Probation for attorney in movie tax credit case
NEW ORLEANS - A New Orleans attorney has been spared prison for his role in a fraud case involving the tax credit program credited with turning Louisiana into "Hollywood South."
A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced Michael Arata to probation and a $15,000 fine.
Arata was one of three people convicted in a scheme to get state tax credits for a project that turned a dilapidated mansion into a production facility. The defense is appealing the guilty verdict and notes that the project was successful.
In granting probation rather than prison, U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman said there is some question as to whether the state was victimized by Arata. He also noted numerous written testimonials praising Arata's character.